In class, after their teacher had explained a reading assignment which needed a parent signature, some third graders had an idea. They decided that in stead of doing the reading, it might be easier to just sign their parents’ names.

Turned out, it wasn’t.

The teacher might not have realized if there had only been one perpetrator, but five parents who signed their names like third graders was a clue. Plus, my name isn’t spelled ‘Shanin’.

It was a hard day for my boy… and for me.

How could my son, who shares my name, use it so disrespectfully? So dishonorably?

Then I remembered another name… Jesus’ name, which I share because I am a Christian. Paul said that our lives are like a letter from Christ, delivered to the people around us. (II Cor. 3:3) We are like Jesus’ signature, which authenticates him to the world. But when we misrepresent him in the way that we live, his signature is used disrespectfully and dishonorably.

I got just the tiniest taste of what this must feel like to Jesus, when I saw my name misspelled and scrawled on the parent signature line. I felt sick to my stomach, and angry at the same time.

When I try to scribble Jesus’ name by living a good life on my own, it looks like scribble and everyone knows it’s fake. But just like I never asked my son to sign my name (and was disturbed when he tried) Jesus wants to do his own writing!

He wants his name to underline the way I respond when my child interrupts or makes an inconvenient request. He wants his name to be represented in the way I listen to a friend or make time for my husband. In my five year goals and split second decisions, Jesus wants my life of genuine faith to authenticate his beautiful name.

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